Jenn ThomasJune 04, 2021
Topics: Customer Stories

Mars’ Secret To A Sweeter Candidate Experience

On the surface, your career site looks sweet. Authentic messaging? Check. Engaging content and video? Check. Personalized job recommendations, chatbot, hiring events? Check, check, check.

So why are you still experiencing high candidate drop-off and a low ratio of completed job applications to job views? Most likely, it comes down to a critical yet often overlooked element — an inconvenient apply process that stops otherwise eager job seekers in their tracks.

But with the right tech, TA teams can do something about this unsavory experience, says Josh Ayala, former Global Process Manager of Talent Acquisition at Mars, the world's leading manufacturer of chocolate and fan favorite confections.

Ayala shared the secret to what’s driving more conversions and powering better performance than ever for the Mars career site during Phenom’s IAMHR virtual conference. Find out what Mars and other Talent Experience Management (TXM) customers are using to sweeten their candidate experiences from “hi” to “apply” and beyond.

Treating Candidates To A Seamless Experience

As the parent company of top candy brands and pocketbook staples like Extra, Altoids, and Lifesavers, Mars understands that job seekers expect a certain experience when perusing and pursuing open opportunities.

When their TA team turned to Phenom to improve their candidate experience, they had just gone through a global rebrand and wanted to weave their new brand identity into all aspects of the candidate journey — apply process included.

“Being able to customize our apply flow to meet our Mars branding, purpose, and identity — and be able to share that experience with the candidate — was one of the top reasons we did that at first,” said Ayala. “We saw the advantage of being able to own that candidate experience [and] what the candidate will go through.”

Without it, a job candidate lands on a fabulous, modern career site, finds the perfect job, and clicks “apply,” only to be booted to an antiquated, clunky application process that’s anything but personalized. The result? Countless candidates abandon ship, recruiters gather zero information on partial applicants, and what could have been a match made in heaven instead leaves both parties wondering what could have been.

This broken experience can overshadow even the most advanced career sites — but it doesn’t have to, Ayala points out. Together with Phenom’s CRM and seamless ATS integrations with countless partners, Hosted Apply gives candidates the ability to complete every step in the apply process without ever leaving a company’s career site.

Learn how Brother increased completed applications 140% with Phenom

The Benefits of Hosted Apply

Here are the top ways Phenom’s Hosted Apply flow has empowered the Mars team to improve their candidate experience, resulting in more “submits” and less drop-off.

Increased conversions. Keeping the apply process streamlined on your career site provides a more consistent, cohesive candidate experience that significantly increases conversion rates.“Analytics show performance is better than our previous career site, including more visitors and a higher percentage of conversions,” Ayala revealed.

Instead of re-entering the same information over and over again, candidates are given the luxury of applying through various social profiles, which prefills required information — or they can instantly upload a resume via the cloud. Easy, peasy.

Lead capture for partial applicants. Behind the scenes, AI captures profile data of partial applicants and feeds it into the CRM. This means that a candidate who doesn’t actually submit a resume can still become a viable lead for a recruiter to personally engage and nurture.

AI’s sophisticated matching capabilities makes it easy to personalize the communication with relevant content and targeted recruitment marketing campaigns that are more likely to inspire a completed application.

Real-time candidate traffic patterns. The CRM also shows when and where a candidate drops from the application process as it happens. By being able to pinpoint this information, recruiters can dig deeper to figure out if there’s a root cause along the way that can be fixed to encourage a complete apply. For example, many companies realize they need to shorten the application, modify specific questions, or reduce certain requirements.

In addition, the ability to analyze where job seeker traffic is coming from helps teams easily measure ROI and adjust ad spend depending on which job boards are generating the most leads.

Analytics to optimize content. When apply conversion rates lag, the job title or description itself (rather than the application process) may be the reason, Ayala noted. Apply flow analytics can help TA leaders uncover and remedy potential bottlenecks with data-backed insights.

“A lot of times, drop off is not just in your application. It could potentially be your job titles or job description. This gives us a way to revisit the job descriptions ... and see how we can make this a little bit more of a persuasive and engaging job description to get the candidate excited,” Ayala revealed.

The role of analytics in optimizing career site content is especially important to companies today, as they vie for top talent and look to differentiate their employer brand. Given the spotlight on diversity equity and inclusion initiatives, a global view of regional career site performance also reveals which sites may need revisions to attract more candidates.

Looking forward, Ayala anticipates maximizing Phenom’s localized career site subtenants according to regional needs and preferences to improve the candidate experience even further. “That’s where we want to go next,” Ayala said. “We know that there are different needs by region and by country, culturally. We have customized career sites specific to location, and that was the purpose — a better candidate experience.”

The Phenom Difference

Beyond improving apply conversion rates and overall career site performance, Ayala noted other ways partnering with Phenom has given his team a competitive edge.

Best practices. Ayala has been able to put Phenom’s experience and insights to work for Mars. “They advise on what makes the most sense for the brand, and share what other clients are doing to engage candidates,” he revealed. Personalized ongoing customer support including platform optimizations and expansion opportunities is a key differentiator Phenom bakes into all partnerships.

Downtime support. “As we all know, systems are imperfect at times,” Ayala said. But the hosted apply flow allows Mars to customize error messages to give candidates accurate FYIs about temporary downtime, or a heads up when their application may not have made it into the system. This type of transparent communication is paramount to making candidates feel informed and respected, which goes a long way in building brand affinity.

Providing an application process that matches the convenience and class of your career site is essential — especially in today’s tight labor market. Thanks to Mars’ proactive, personalized approach to the candidate experience, one thing is certain: job seekers will never leave their site with a bad taste in their mouth.

Interested in how you can take advantage of Phenom’s Hosted Apply and seamless ATS integrations?

Request a demo!

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